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How can you help treat Gingivitis at home?

By Guide September 19, 2014 - 12:47pm
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I am afraid of getting gingivitis. My family history has bad teeth and gum issues and want to know what I can do to prevent getting gingivitis. Thank you!

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Hi Pat!

Thank you for all this information! My dentist also explained to me how diet affects your teeth, which I never correlated the two together. He also said staying hydrated and drinking a lot of water is great for good oral health!

I recall a sign in a dentist's office one time that said," YOU DON'T HAVE TO FLOSS ALL YOUR TEETH...JUST THE ONES YOU WANT TO KEEP!" Isn't that a great quote!!

Thank you for the advice Pat!


September 22, 2014 - 12:18pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to kristincaliendo)

Kristin - That's a great quote! Thanks for sharing. Pat

September 22, 2014 - 5:16pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Kristin, and thanks for your question asking how you can look out for your oral health!

Gingivitis is a mild form of  periodontal disease and is fairly common especially among teens, pregnant women and older adults. In most cases, gingivitis is reversible. However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to the deterioration of your gums and eventually your teeth.

The main cause of gingivitis is plaque. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states ʺPlaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the teeth.ʺ

Plaque is generally caused by poor dental hygiene. And, the main cause of tooth decay is plaque because plaque turns into tartar. Plaque requires daily removal because it re-forms quickly, usually within 24 hours. If not removed, plaque can harden and turn into tarter, which in turn leads to gingivitis.

Gingivitis therapy aims to remove the irritating plaque and prevent its return.Treatment includes:

  • Regular dental check ups and good oral hygiene
  • Careful and frequent brushing and flossing
  • A healthful diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

The best preventive measure is to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush held at a 45° angle to the line where your teeth and gums meet.  Replace the brush when the bristles become bent or frayed or every 3-4 months. Move the brush in small circular movements along the gumline and chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Flossing is also very helpful. Brushing removes bacteria from the teeth, but the brush cannot reach everywhere. Flossing helps rid food and bacteria between teeth. Hold the floss tight. Gently bring it down between the teeth. Do not pop the floss against the gum. Curve the floss around the tooth and rub up and down. Adjust the floss, so you use a fresh section for each tooth, including the back side of the last tooth, left and right, upper and lower.

Your dentist may recommend additional self-care treatments, such as massaging the gums with a rubber tip. Rinses to fight bacteria and plaque build-up may help some patients.

Regular dental check ups are another preventive measure. Dental health professionals check for gingivitis and remove plaque that has built up on teeth. A visit every six months is usually considered adequate. Patients with gingivitis may need more frequent cleanings. If the disease progresses and plaque builds up below the gum line, the area must be scraped off and smoothed with dental tools. Otherwise, accumulated plaque and tartar buildup make it easier for bacteria to grow.

If an area has progressed to periodontal disease, surgery or medication may be required. Treating an underlying medical problem may improve the health of your gums.

This may be far more information that you wanted to know, but your oral health can have a major impact on the rest of your health and this information is important for you and your family. Please let us know if you've picked up some new tips and how you plan to use them.
September 19, 2014 - 5:13pm
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